Elizabeth Topham

This English sampler combines embroidered pictorial, alphabetic, and upholstery techniques, becoming in every sense a sampler of Ms. Topham's best work. Bargello work (also known as canvaswork, Irish stitch, flamestitch, or Florentine stitch) appeared on the earliest seventeenth century samplers, and in fact was the technique used on much earlier needleworks. It was primarily used for furnishings, and reflects the importance of textiles in brightening early interiors. It is not at all difficult to execute, as it is no more than a variation on counted thread stitchery. The color of the original sampler is in an amazing state of preservation. It appears to never have been framed, but folded with the inside in, resulting in some minor fading only to the back. The original linen might have been dyed a dark saffron color.

Linen count and finished size: 35-count worked over two threads our reproduction will be very close in size to the original, 8-3/4" x 11-1/2"
Stitches: Montenegrin cross, cross, four-sided, eyelet, counted satin, and bargello.

Origin and date: England, 1727
Rated: Intermediate.
Source: Private collection

Kit with cotton floss: $54.00
Kit with silk floss: $90.00
Graph only: $12.00
Finished Model: $500.00